On Friday Patrick, my 13-year-old son, moved in to spend most of the summer with Maryam and me. His first question to me when his mom dropped him off was “dad, do you have an unused copy of Windows XP?”
I was pretty sure I had a copy. After all, when I left Microsoft I bought a bunch of stuff including a couple copies of XP “just in case.” (Microsoft employees get to buy software for far less than retail).
But I thought the request was weird. Why? Well, he has a cool MacBookPro and already has Vista running on it with both Parallels and Bootcamp. I figured he just wanted to collect OS’s to brag to his friends when he got back to school in the fall. “You think you had a great summer? Well I have four OS’s running on my Mac” Or something like that.
Anyway, when we got home he went through my stash of old crusty software and found an unopened box of XP. I remember he was very happy. Gave me a look like “finally there’s a reason my dad was cool for working at Microsoft.”
But I still didn’t understand why all this instant love was coming my way.
Snap forward to last night. We met a bunch of geeks at the Ritz for some fun times and a spectacular sunset. Eventually we ended up at the house to watch a movie and Patrick pulled out his MacBookPro.
Someone asked him why he was running Windows XP on it. They thought that was weird. I was just proud that maybe my Microsoft evangelism was finally having some effect on my son. I think he went Mac just to spite me and be rebellious. Heck, if that’s the state of teenage rebellion today I’m down with it.
Anyway, it just demonstrated how clueless I really was. His answer:
The latest patch of World of Warcraft that came out a few weeks ago took the framerate on OSX down to 10 frames a second in battle and 15 out of battle.
On Windows XP the framerate is 60 frames a second. He said about running WoW on XP: “it’s a whole new WoW now.”
I just asked Patrick, what about Vista? “Vista didn’t really work very well.” He says that Vista has better framerates than OSX, but gets unconnected a lot so wasn’t very playable.
So, I guess if you want the best WoW on your Mac, you gotta find an old copy of XP.
And, yes, I am now the coolest dad in the neighborhood again. Whew!
Happy Father’s Day!
UPDATE: James Au is reporting that World of Warcraft player numbers are going down. Maybe partly because of this issue?